Stevenson Picks Up First Win Over Eastern Mennonite, 3-1
OWINGS MILLS, Md. - Led by a career-high 20 kills from freshman Jon Martin (Lititz, Pa./Warwick) and a career-high 15 from freshman Kalani Soeda (Kaneohe, Hawaii/LeJardin Academy), the Stevenson men's volleyball team won its fourth-straight and first in 18 games against Eastern Mennonite with a 30-32, 25-12, 28-26, 25-19 victory Wednesday night at Owings Mills Gymnasium.
With the win, the Mustangs (16-2, 7-2 Metro) lead the NECVA Metro Division with seven wins and are one game behind No. 6 Philadelphia Biblical for first place.
Prior to Wednesday, Stevenson was 0-17 against the Royals who have finished ranked in the final AVCA Division III Men's Coaches Top 15 Poll every year but once since 2000. Seven of those losses had come at home, but tonight's win came in the first meeting between the two at the new Owings Mills Gymnasium.
Eastern Mennonite (8-11, 5-4 Metro) held a 16-12 lead before the Mustangs rallied to tie the game at 17-17. The first set featured 16 ties and eight lead changes as the two teams traded points until the Royals scored the final two on a kill by Chris Moise and a Stevenson attack error.
The Mustangs totaled 12 attack errors and a .062 hitting percentage in the first set, but had just 14 in the final three combined.
Stevenson jumped out to a 16-7 lead in the second set and led by as many as 14 as it totaled eight kills, including four from Martin, and took advantage of 11 Eastern Mennonite attack errors.
The third set was an offensive shootout that also need extra time to decide a winner as both teams combined for 29 kills and featured eight ties and six lead changes. Soeda had seven kills while Martin added five as the duo accounted for 12 of the Mustangs' 16.
Martin added seven kills in the fourth set as Stevenson had 12 kills and just three errors in 34 attempts and led from start to finish following a 6-0 run to start.
In addition to their 51 kills, the Mustangs also totaled 64 digs and 22 total blocks. Freshman Eddy Klepper (Carlisle, Pa./Cumberland Valley), who entered the game ranked second in the nation in blocks behind Eastern Mennonite's Frankie Coto, had six while junior Josh Forbes (Erie, Pa./McDowell), who ranked fifth, added five.
Martin also added 10 for his fifth double double of the season while Soeda finished with nine, just missing his first. Sophomore Kyle Diller (Chambersburg, Pa./Chambersburg) totaled a game-high 19 digs to go along with 39 assists and freshman Adam Thatcher (Bel Air/C. Milton Wright) totaled 16 digs.
Moise led the Royals with 12 kills and 13 digs while Coto had 10 kills and Nolan Prock totaled 16 digs. Kendall Garber had 15 digs and Greg Knight finished with eight kills and eight digs.
Stevenson returns to action on Sunday, March 6 when it hosts a tri-match with Washington Adventist and Metro Division rival Ramapo at Owings Mills Gymnasium beginning at 11:30 a.m.